“Where I was born, where I was raised, where I keep all my yesterday’s,” I sing along with Montgomery Gentry as “My Town” radiates through my Chevy truck’s speakers.
The fact that everyone in the city has their windows halfway down on this rare, beautiful day in January doesn’t stop me from belting it out like I’m on stage at The Ryman; No doubt, my off-key singing is the probable cause of why that guy trapped next to me at this traffic light has such an annoyed look on his face.
But I can’t help it. Whenever I hear this song I remember my small hometown.
It’s only about an hour and a half south of the big city that I live in today, but it’s miles away!
You have to drive until the skyline disappears behind you in the rearview mirror and the street lights are replaced by a starry sky that lights your way.
When you reach the exit on the highway that seems like the exact point where civilization has ended, you’ve still got a half hour of two lane to travel down, a creek to cross over, one blinking light to stop at, and a big Oak tree where you’ll make a sharp right before you’ll come to the house where I grew up.
The houses on my street aren’t miles apart from one another, but they are spaced out just enough so that when you and your neighbor shared a conversation across your front porches, you needed to talk loud enough so that just about everyone within a mile radius could hear your entire conversation.
The lawns were well-manicured; the men of the house took pride in it.
Just as the woman of the household took pride in perfecting their sweet tea and baked goods so that they could hold their heads up high when they were the talk of the church get together on Sunday afternoon.
Nothing ever changes there and nothing ever will!
The population of “Nowheresville, USA” has stayed at 1500 or less for the last….well, at least since the year that I was born!
The same old people live in the same old houses.
The same tattered American flag hangs in the square and it won’t ever be replaced because it is rumored to have come back with a solider from overseas during WWII.
“I came back to settle down, it’s where they’ll put me in the ground….” I continue singing-a-long as the light turns green and I’m snapped out of my reminiscing by the sounds of honking horns as I return to the hustle and bustle of the big city life that once upon a time, I thought I couldn’t live without when I dreamed about leaving my hometown behind.